Every year people promise themselves to prioritize their health and improve their quality of life. The fact is, most of these resolutions get dropped within the first few weeks of the New Year, and bad habits continue despite good intentions. The challenge that many people face is that their resolutions are so strict and unrealistic that they’re nearly impossible to achieve. What’s more, most people give up after one bad decision, effectively throwing away all of their progress and hard work.
To help with all of the New Year Resolution confusion, we compiled ten of the best things you can do to improve your health and well-being in 2018.
- The number one thing you can do to drastically improve your health is to quit smoking if you are a smoker. Smoking is linked to lung cancer, heart disease, oral cancers, and many other health problems. The key to successfully quitting smoking is to celebrate every victory along the way, cut yourself some slack if you have a weak moment, and get back on the horse.
- Get daily exercise. You don’t need to run marathons or turn into a world class weight lifter. There tends to be a misconception that regular exercisers are like Superman or Wonder Woman, but the truth is that the only thing that separates regular exercisers from couch potatoes is persistence. Setting too high a bar will only make it more difficult for you to become healthier. Instead, focus on smaller goals like going for a 20 minute walk once a day.
- Get your diet under control. Eat lots of vegetables, lean proteins, and fruits. Most importantly, make sure your diet becomes a lifestyle change. There are many fad diets that can help you lose weight temporarily, but you’ll gain it all back (and then some) after you stop. For those of us who have to regularly eat while on the go, don’t pick something unhealthy if you don’t have time to enjoy it. Instead, save your cheat meals for when you actually have time to enjoy them.
- Wear your seatbelt. Every year, there are 35,000 people in the United States who are killed in car accidents. Wearing your seatbelt will significantly reduce the risk of injury in a car accident.
- Achieve and maintain a reasonable body weight. Your weight has a huge influence on both your physical and mental health. Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, suicide, and more. No matter how much you weigh now, you can always take steps to improve your health and self-image. It is never too late to make positive change.
- Treat your depression. Millions of Americans suffer from depression, which significantly lowers quality of life and can lead to increased divorce and suicide rates. Our clinics have doctors with extensive knowledge about depression and how to treat it. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, we can help.
- Manage your stress. Stress is pervasive in American culture and is associated with heart attacks, strokes, depression, and other serious illness. There are many tools available to help you better manage your stress, such as exercise, meditation, medication, and more. Much like diagnosing and treating depression, our clinics are all equipped with tools to help you treat and manage stress.
- Protect your skin. Wear sunscreen if you’re going to be in the sun, take regular baths or showers, and use a moisturizer. Most importantly, if you notice something growing on your skin, head to a doctor right away. Experts at all of our clinics are able to diagnose skin growths and give you options and recommendations for treating anything that shouldn’t be there.
- Add fiber to your diet. This sounds simple, and that’s because it is. Everyone should consider taking a fiber supplement once a day. Increased fiber has been linked with lowering bad cholesterol and decreasing your risk for stomach and colon cancer. Adding fiber to your diet is an easy fix, and will pay tremendous dividends for your health.
- Get married. Death rates for happily married people are significantly lower than singles with the exact same problems. Find someone who makes you happy and both of you can work on health and wellness together in 2019.
No matter how you choose to tackle your 2018 health plan, do your best to make good choices. If you mess up, remember that most bad choices aren’t permanent and that your best bet is to get back on track. If you take the time and energy to invest in your health, you will see quantifiable dividends before you know it. Need help with figuring out how to tackle your health plan for 2018? Give us a call or stop by one of our clinics today. We are here to help.